Written By: Rupsee
Rupsee is Business Application Analyst, with an extensive knowledge in PPC and SEO.

Website Optimization Best Practices

Today, SEO is based on trust. You want to establish yourself as a real business that Google can see is doing things the right way, and that will actually have a higher impact on your rankings than any of the trickery that used to work.

1.Have a Decent Amount of Content on Your Homepage
Number one is have a decent amount of content on your homepage. A lot of businesses do this. They’ve just got this splash page, little tiny blurb about their business. That homepage is so important to your rankings because it’s the page that generally has all of the link equity. So any time that people link to your business, they go to the homepage. Because of that, it’s the page that has the highest chance of ranking. So make sure that you really build out your content on your homepage. You want to write out various snippets about the different services you do, how long you have been in business, the history of the business. Put all of that kind of stuff into your homepage, and that will help it to be more relevant for the terms that you are targeting. Also target the most important key phrases, the obvious head terms. So if you’re a landscaper, it would be “landscaping,” “landscaper.” Make sure that those key phrases are properly represented on the homepage.

2.Have a Webpage for Every Service and Sub-service
Second, you want to make sure you have a webpage for every service and sub-service.
And another thing about it is make sure that you create the best page. Google can see all the content. Here’s an example, there’s a company named Quest Limos. They’re in Calgary and Vancouver, and they have really taken to heart that recommendation. They have pages for each and every service they provide and that is I think 7,000, 8,000 words, maybe 12,000 words. It’s ridiculous. It’s so long, it has everything for anyone who will look for while booking a limo or sedan. And they rank absolutely number one for everything because, think about it, Google wants to return the best answer to their users. Someone types in something, they want to see the best answer. That’s why that page ranks so well. So little bits of content. You can have a nice little thing above the fold for people who just don’t want to read, they want to get the basics, and then call you. You should have that, but then make sure you go into detail down below. It makes a huge difference.

One SEO factor is your URL structure. There’s not that much to say about it. Your URLs, the top ones up there are a good idea. You just want to keep it simple,
• domain.com/about-us,
• /business-photography,
• /wedding-photography,
• /baby-photography.
Just don’t spam it. While it may be a thing that you’ll read on some SEO guides that keywords in the URL are helpful, some people take it way too far like this bottom one: edmonton/services/wedding-photo-services/wedding-photography-in-calgary. It’s just over the top, and it’s absolutely unnecessary. Don’t spam that. It can actually hurt you.

4.Title Tags
Let me show you what that is. The title tag appears in the search results. So I got “toy stores in Edmonton,” and then I’ve circled. In blue is the title tag. It’s not something you actually see on the webpage itself. It’s just something in the code that Google uses to identify the topic of the page. And it does show it in the search results.

5.Meta Description
The next thing is the meta description. Your meta description looks like this in the search results. It’s also not shown on your page. You don’t see it on the page. It’s only in the code, and it describes what this page is for the search engines. This meta description, one thing that’s really important is that it is not factored into your search results. You put any keywords you want in there, you’ll have no impact on your search rankings. What it does impact is your click-through rate. If you ever do any AdWords and you think about your ad copy, the way you write your ad will encourage people to be like, “Oh, that sounds like something I want. I’ll click on that.” So you want to make sure that you’re writing very good descriptions of the page that will entice people to click.

6.Meta Keyword Tags
Now there’s this thing called the meta keywords tag. You may have heard of this before. It was a thing way back in 1998, but the meta tag is completely ignored by search engines today. So do not waste time with the meta keywords tag. I think, if I go back to this screenshot, this is the worst offender of the propagation of the meta keywords tag. The Yoast plugin still provides a focus keyword, and I think in there, it turns that into your meta keywords tag. People think it’s a thing, but it actually has no impact on your search rankings.
I just had a client the other day that we used to do their website for years ago, and he contacted me and he’s like . . . he’s been hunting me to do some website updates for him. Well, we don’t really do that anymore. So I was like, “Well, okay, we’re going to do it. What do you need?” He said what he wants to do is add meta keywords tag to his whole website, and I was like, “You don’t need to do that. It’s a complete waste of your time.” Don’t put the meta keywords tag on your website.

7. Headings, H1, H2, H3
They factor into search rankings. If you can tweak the heading without making it spammy, then it’s a good idea. For example, “Welcome to Faraz Auto Sales.” And then if you said, “Faraz Auto Sales, Toronto’s Luxury Used Car Specialists,” you’re getting luxury used cars into the heading, which is helpful. So as long as you can do so in a way that is not spammy and natural to read, then it’s kind of a good idea to try and get your keywords in your heading tags.

8. Image Alt Attribute
Image alt attribute is another SEO factor that people look at. The way it works is you don’t see this on the page, you only see it in the code. Here’s an image. You can put an alt attribute, and this is actually typically used for vision-impaired people so they can actually see what that image is about. You want to try to keep that in mind.

9. Keywords in Bold and/or Italics
People will talk about that, and I still think that’s kind of trickery. Think about what a search engine is seeing when they see this webpage. “Oh, look, this keyword has been bolded and italicized. This webpage is so great. We’re going to improve your rankings just because you bolded the keywords.” So maybe that’s the way it used to be, and I think it did have an impact way back in the day, but today search engines are much more sophisticated.

10. For the Love of Google, Do Not Over Optimize
This is a great example. They used the word “Edmonton” 32 times in their homepage content, and they used the word “photographer” 34 times in their homepage content. This has more of a chance to hurt you than to help you. Just write naturally for people. Just write naturally for your website visitors, and if you add a decent amount of content, the keyword topic will usually be present without trying to cram it in.

11. Internal Linking
This is linking from your homepage to all of your other pages. This is actually very valuable. You want to make sure that you’re doing. If you mention something that you cover in another page of your site, make sure that you are linking that to that specific page. So if on your homepage, you say, “We also do garburator repair,” link the words “garburator repair,” to your garburator repair page. That’s very valuable. You want to make sure that you’re doing that. Don’t do it unnaturally, like these people are trying to spam their internal anchor tag, so “Winnipeg used car dealer,” “Winnipeg used car dealers,” “used car dealer in Winnipeg.” They’re really trying to optimize that. That’s not necessary. If you mention “used car dealer” once, you might link to your used car dealer page if you have that page.

12. Fast Loading
Fast loading is very important. This is a thing that has really started to pick up steam in SEO. If your website takes forever to load, it can hurt your search ranking, so make sure that you have a fast loading page. This is the Google PageSpeed test. You can run through this. It will tell you exactly what’s wrong with it and how to fix it. You can give that to your developers and say, “Hey, can you fix this up?” There’s also a service specifically for WordPress. I think it’s $500. And they’ll go through your WordPress site, and they will consolidate all your plug-ins. And they will optimize things. They’ll insert caching and all kinds of things to speed up your website. So the WordPress service is kind of handy to get. If you just go, “WordPress speed service,” you Google, you’ll find it.

13. Mobile Friendly
Make sure your website works on mobile. There was this big algorithm update where Google said if your website is not mobile-optimized, you’re going to lose all your rankings. That update came and went, and nobody lost their rankings. Google was trying to scare people into making sure their website is mobile friendly, but we are starting to see a trickle of evidence that sites that are mobile-friendly have a better chance of ranking than sites that aren’t. If you’re not doing this now, it’s just time to bite the bullet and rebuild your website so that it’s nicely done. You want to go with responsive instead of a dedicated mobile site. Some people have m.domain.com as their mobile site. You end up with duplicate content issues there, so what you want to do is just make sure you build a nice responsive website. There are a lot of really good responsive WordPress themes. You just get the theme, customize it, and it’s good to go. You can use this whole test at Google to test how mobile-friendly your website is. That’s handy to use. And then I also really like this test. This is at feedthebot.com. It just gives you a little bit more information than the Google test.

14. Good Site Structure
If you have a ton of content, Google needs to be able to crawl that content. Your goal is to minimize the number of clicks from the homepage. For example, let’s say, a blog is a really great example of this. If you wrote an article on your blog that was pretty good back in 2011, how long does it take Google to get to that blog when it hits your homepage? They go to the homepage, then they click the blog, then they click the homepage, then they have to click next, next, next, next, next before they find that really great article. You’ve basically pushed that so far away from your site’s link authority, all the link authority is on the homepage, that that page itself has no authority anymore. So it doesn’t really have a chance to rank. This is another reason why I really like putting all of your really important content on the Services pages rather than in blog posts because it ends up getting pushed out of the index.